Airbus deepens collaboration with 3D printing giant Stratasys

Leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus is increasingly relying on additive manufacturing to boost productivity and margins by bringing flexibility to its manufacturing practices.

Airbus has standardized on Stratasys’ ULTEM™ 9085 3D printing material for the production of flight parts for its A350 XWB aircraft.
© AIRBUS S.A.S. 2014 – A. Mc Laughlin

The company, which has already adopted Stratasys’ additive manufacturing solutions for the production of various flight parts, has now officially standardised on Stratasys’ ULTEM 9085 3D printing material for the production of flight parts for its flagship A350 XWB aircraft.

Stratasys’ ULTEM™ 9085 resin is certified to an Airbus material specification and is used in Stratasys’ FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) based additive manufacturing solutions.

Andy Middleton, President, Stratasys EMEA, said the company’s ULTEM 9085 enables rapid and lower cost production of strong, lighter weight parts by combining a high strength-to-weight ratio with FST (flame, smoke, and toxicity) compliance for aircraft flight parts.

“In 2014 Airbus produced a significant amount of parts on its Stratasys FDM-based 3D Printers for use in new A350 XWB aircraft, enabling Airbus to meet delivery commitments on-time,” Mr Middleton noted.

“We are pleased to support Airbus as they industrialise the inclusion of Stratasys 3D printed parts in the A350 XWB production supply chain, ensuring that suppliers will be able to support continued scheduled aircraft deliveries.”

He said additive manufacturing is becoming more and more attractive to a range of diverse industries looking to brings new levels of efficiency and flexibility to production supply chains by enabling parts to be produced on demand and at locations optimised for delivery to final assembly lines.

“We see the demand for our additive manufacturing solutions coming from a variety of time-sensitive industries, including everything from aerospace and automotive to medical and consumer products,” added Mr Middleton.

“By adopting Stratasys additive manufacturing strategies in supply chain management, companies can not only protect time to market commitments but also increase product innovation while decreasing inventory requirements.”

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